Understanding the San Jiao in the Classics

The San Jiao is a special organ, sometimes difficult to apprehend. The Chinese vision is multiple and complex. This lecture is created to help the practitioner to understand the San Jiao in an easier and more practical way. We will explore the San Jiao and the relationship  between Pre Heaven and Post Heaven, Kidneys and Heart, Water and Fire, Qi and fluids.


Understanding the San Jiao in the Classics

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3 Hours+ Hours
Texts & Translations Handout
Certificate On Completion

What you will learn

  • Develop a better and clearer understanding of the San Jiao, its three levels and their specific functions. 
  • Understand the relationship of the San Jiao with the Heart and Heart protector.
  • Develop an accurate clinical approach to the San Jiao.

Course Overview

The San Jiao is a special organ, often difficult to apprehend. The Chinese vision is multiple and complex. This lecture exposes the various approaches found in the classical medical texts and shows how they are different, but not exclusive from one another. It also explains why an organ such as the San Jiao was a rational necessity for the representation of the body and the comprehension of its functioning.  

The goal is to help the practitioner to understand more clearly the San Jiao and apprehend it in an easier and more practical way.  

Through classical medical texts, specially Neijing and Nanjing, we will study the relationships of the San Jiao with the Heart and the Heart protections (xin bao), with Mingmen and the Kidneys, with the Fire (as one expression of the ministerial fire) and the Water. We will examine its function toward the Pre-Heaven (the origin, the source yuan 原 qi) and Post- Heaven Qi, and toward the metabolism and circulation of the fluids and liquids in the body. 

Each of the three levels of the San Jiao will be analysed in their specific functions as well as their evolution over time. 

Then we will show how the San Jiao is finally used to represent the global synergy of the organism, linked with the symbolic value of the number Three. We will briefly look at the relationships of the San Jiao with the Shaoyang quality of Qi and their expression in the Shaoyang of hand meridian.

The Curriculum

1. The San Jiao as one of the Six fu and its relationships with the Zang, specially Kidneys and Heart/ Heart protection.
2. Relationship with Mingmen and with the origin; its function toward the multiple qi in the body.
3. Its part in the metabolism, transformation and circulation of the fluids.
4. Function of each of the 3 levels of the San Jiao.
5. The meaning of ministerial Fire; the place of the San Jiao among the functions and organs involved in the ministerial Fire.
6. Importance of the San Jiao in the synergy and unity of the organism
7. Relationships with the Shaoyang quality of Qi.
8. Q&A

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Course Reviews:

Such a treat to listen to Elisabeth.

Rated 5 out of 5
May 9, 2022

Finally a lucid and thorough explanation of the functions of the Triple Heater and why it is what it is. Such a treat to listen to Elisabeth. Thank you so much for hosting this course!!!

Debby Shapiro

Incredible class.

Rated 5 out of 5
May 9, 2022

Incredible class. Elizabeth definitely understands what she was teaching us. Made a difficult topic to grasp (the San Jiao as additional fu organ) much more understandable. I appreciated first learning the background of the Chinese character of San Jiao. The handout was great. A real help was numbering the various passages from the Classical Texts discussed during the class for ease of finding the relevant passages quickly. I especially enjoyed seeing how the various Classical Text passages tied one to another, elaborating on the concepts such as the surface of the skin (cou li), the canal, and the connection to the Kidneys, Stomach and Spleen, and the Lungs. The class was absolutely brilliant. I’m very glad I took the class.

Rachael Murphy
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About Instructor

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

Senior sinlogist Elisabeth Rochat de laVallée has been studying and translating the classics of Chinese Medicine and philosophy for over 40 years. She continues teaching worldwide.

16 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 1 Section
  • 5 Lessons
  • Course Certificate